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Monday, September 21, 2015

Businesses can apply now for grant schemes

Businesses are being encouraged to apply for two exciting new grants that can support projects to help them grow and assist them if they are looking to take on an apprentice.

The £8 million Lancashire Business Growth Fund has already helped a number of Lancashire businesses to grow and create sustainable jobs by providing funding to bring forward larger-scale growth projects. Schemes that are eligible for funding include property acquisition and improvement and the purchasing of machinery. 

As a Lancashire business you can apply for up to 20% of the total funding of your project, with a minimum grant of £10,000. There is no maximum grant, although any application looking for more than £250,000 would have to go through the due diligence process.

There is free dedicated support available to help you through the whole application process. Businesses of any size can apply but you must be trading business to business – retail and business to consumer is not eligible. Proposals must create private sector jobs in Lancashire and leverage in private sector investment in order to be eligible.

This grant is already proving very popular and businesses should enquire immediately to ensure they do not miss out. For full eligibility criteria please visit business. Alternatively businesses can enquire via the Council’s Economic Regeneration team on 01695 712692 or info.edu@westlancs.gov.uk

In addition, we are pleased to announce a new fund that is now available and exclusive to West Lancashire businesses, the Let’s talk Apprentices Grant Scheme. This grant aims to increase the skills in the borough’s key priority sectors by supporting eligible businesses to recruit West Lancashire 16 to 24 year-olds into employment through an apprenticeship programme.

Businesses can apply for a grant of up to £1,000 per apprentice, and make a maximum of two applications. Alongside the government’s AGE Incentive grant this means eligible businesses could potentially receive up to £2,500 to recruit an apprentice, subject to availability & eligibility.

To be eligible businesses must employ less than 50 people in the UK, be based in West Lancashire, and commit to employ the apprentice for a minimum of 12 months.

The apprentices must live in West Lancashire and have started their Apprenticeship after 1 September 2015.

Councillor Ian Moran, West Lancashire Borough Council Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration, said: “I hope that these new funding streams will help make a real difference to West Lancashire businesses and I would encourage them to apply as soon as possible to ensure they do not miss out as funds are limited and interest is expected to be high.”

Businesses that have taken on apprentices have reported business benefits including improved productivity, with 9 out of 10 employers endorsing this. The Let’s talk Apprentices grant is effective from 1 September 2015 and will be issued on a first-come first serve basis. For more details, including a full list of eligibility criteria, please visit apprentices grant. Or you can contact Tracey Shaw, Economic Regeneration team on 01695 712555 or email: tracey.shaw@westlancs.gov.uk.

The Council’s Economic Regeneration Team can also offer a range of additional support including help with skills and workforce solutions; bespoke land and property searches plus more. The team can be contacted on info.edu@westlancs.gov.uk or 01695 712692.

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